Image: Texas National Guard engineers reinforce razor wire barriers along the Texas-Mexico border near El Paso. Image Credit: Texas Military Department
By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] –
Texas Army and Air National Guard Operation Lone Star troops are making preparations to prevent entry of illegal foreign nationals between ports of entry along the Texas-Mexico border ahead of the public health authority Title 42 ending May 11.
National Guard engineers are continuing to reinforce razor wire barriers along the Texas-Mexico border near El Paso. Additional soldiers have been mobilized to support construction efforts. The reinforced razor wire barriers “will create essential impediments to combat the unprecedented influx of illegal border crossings the end of Title 42 is expected to cause,” the governor’s office says.
“The Texas National Guard is a highly organized and efficient force,” Major Sean Storrud, Task Force West commander, said in a statement. “Although illegal immigration is absolutely a national problem that requires a national solution, the Texas National Guard is doing our part.”
In December, additional personnel and equipment were sent to El Paso to respond to the border crisis, including 200 additional staffers and 40 additional high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) to expand operations in the area, according to the Texas Military Department. This is after 400 personnel were deployed responding to a state of emergency issued by the city’s mayor at the directive of Gov. Greg Abbott.
All sectors along the border increased “their response posture to protect Texas against the flood of migrants and cartel activity streaming into our state,” TMD said.
The end of Title 42 is expected to result in “a massive influx of illegal immigrants allowing criminals to further exploit gaps while federal authorities are inundated with migrant processing,” the Texas Military Department said. Since last December, a designated number of 136th Airlift Wing C-130J cargo aircraft, air crews, support, and response Airmen have been on alert, “prepared to provide any necessary capability at the Governor’s direction,” it said.
The Security Response Force from the 236th MP Company, trained in Civil Disturbance Operations and Mass Migration Response, can be rapidly deployed to border areas, TMD says.
The Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard also mobilized numerous assets in the Brownsville area as part of a “mass migration response exercise.”
Soldiers also assisted DPS Brush Teams in monitoring traffic along U.S. 83 near Laredo using night vision technology to enhance visibility into the brush along the highway. The area is frequently used by human smugglers because of its proximity to a nearby residential area, law enforcement officers have explained.
Their efforts are filling “the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden’s open border policies.”
Since Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in April 2021, as of May 5, OLS officers have apprehended over 371,000 illegal foreign nationals. They’ve made over 27,000 criminal arrests, with more than 25,000 felony charges reported. They’ve also seized over 385 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than everyone in the U.S., according to the governor’s office.
On May 12, more people are expected to surge the southern border to enter illegally than at any time in U.S. history. Officials estimate over 13,000 people from all over the world are expected to initially attempt entry every day, which is roughly double the current number. Roughly 40,000 are reportedly waiting in Mexico to enter El Paso, prompting the mayor to declare a state of emergency.
President Joe Biden sent 1,500 National Guard troops to the border to help Border Patrol process illegal foreign nationals into the country, not to expel them or ensure border security, according to a new plan announced by the Department of Homeland Security.
The crisis at the southern border has so far resulted in at least over 6 million people illegally entering the U.S. since January 2021. A record amount of fentanyl and other deadly drugs seized after being brought into the country are enough to kill the U.S. population several times over. Officials have expressed concerns about the unknown volume that hasn’t been seized.
The Biden administration, the Mexican government, and other governmental leaders have entered into agreements to facilitate even more people from all over the world entering the U.S. by “expanding legal pathways” outside of the laws created by Congress. The states and Congress have yet to take action to stop their efforts.
About the Author: Bethany Blankley is a writer at the Center Square, Patheos/Hedgerow, political analyst and former press secretary at Capitol Hill / NY / WDC. Follow Bethany on Twitter @BethanyBlankley.